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Biotechnology Faculty & Research


Saeed Attar,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Nevada, Reno,
  • Research Activities: Synthetic organic/organometallic chemistry. Design and synthesis of chiral organic compounds and their transition-metal complexes for potential applications in asymmetric organic reactions; synthetic methodology. Bio-organometallic chemistry of ferrocene derivatives. Synthesis and characterization of organometallic compounds with interesting structural and/or physical properties (e.g. luminescent compounds; chemical sensors).

Earvin Balderama,, Mathematics Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
  • Areas of Expertise and Interest: Spatial statistics, Bayesian methods, zero-inflated models. 

Mario, Mathematics Dept.

  • Ph.D. Univeresity of California, Merced
  • Areas of Expertise and Interest: Mathematical biology, optimization, statistical models for genome evolution, data science.

Steve Blumenshine,, Biology Dept. 

  • Ph.D. University of Notre Dame.
  • Research Activities: Freshwater & estuarine ecology; watershed analysis and human impact; nutrient enrichment on the structure and dynamics of aquatic communities and ecosystems; fish growth and bioenergetics.

Cory Brooks,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Victoria
  • Research Activities: X-ray crystallography and protein engineering; Single domain antibodies for the detection and treatment of Listeria monocytogenes; Structure based engineering of therapeutic antibodies for cancer treatment.

Jason A. Bush,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of British Columbia
  • Research activities: Genetics and Cellular Biology; cell culture; molecular and cell biology of cancer progression/metastasis; membrane/cytoskeletal regulation of cell movement; anti-cancer drug treatment; SNP/mutational analyses; comparative/quantitative proteomics and mass spectrometry.

 John Bushoven,, Plant Science Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Rhode Island
  • Research Activities: Nitrogen and carbon partitioning in grasses and the development of plant tissue culture methodologies.

 Alejandro Calderón-Urrea,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. Yale University
  • Research Activities: Molecular genetics of programmed cell death (PCD) in plants; Use of PCD in plant biotechnology; PCD during sex determination in plants; Transgenic plant development and plant biotechnology; Biofuels and other metabolites from algae.

Qiao-Hong Chen,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D. Sichuan University, China
  • Research Activities: Development of macrolide-based microtubule stabilizing agents for the treatment of multi-drug resistance cancer; Development of improved analogs of dietary natural products for the treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer

John Constable,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. Louisiana State University
  • Research Activities: Plant physiological ecology, resource acquisition and use (carbon and nitrogen), carbon partitioning and allocation, water relations, global climate change and pollution impacts on plant physiological processes.

Paul R. Crosbie,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of California, Davis
  • Research Activities: Host-parasite interactions; parasite life history strategies, population ecology, and disease ecology; impacts of parasitism on host populations; ectoparasitic and free-living arthropod taxonomy and systematics; arthropod vectored diseases; molecular approaches to parasite identification, systematics, and population genetics; protozoal endoparasites of insects.

Laurent Dejean,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Bordeaux
  • Research Activities: The focus of my research is to understand the mechanisms that underlie and control the release of mitochondrial proteins during both physiological and pathophysiological conditions.

Erin Dormedy,, Food Science and Nutrition Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Nebraska, Lincoln
  • Research Activities: Intervention methods for the control of foodborne pathogens, food safety and biosecurity, HACCP implementation and validation, development of HACCP intervention methods, food industry outreach and technology transfer

Andrew Fiala,, Philosophy Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Green Bay
  • Research Activities: Bioethics

Dave Goorahoo,, Plant Science Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Guelph
  • Research Activities: Nutrient and water use efficiency in vegetable crop production systems. Works closely with research staff of the Center for Irrigation Technology on campus on "Ag-Environ" projects aimed at investigating the interaction between agriculture and the environment, with emphasis on the impact of various agricultural practices on the San Joaquin Valley 's air, soil and water resources

Joy Goto,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
  • Research Activities: Neurobiochemistry; Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism of environmental neurotoxin exposure and neuronal degeneration; Oxidative stress and metal ion homeostasis; Mammalian neuronal cultures for protein studies of Alzheimer's Disease

Karine Gousset,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of California, Davis
  • Research Activities: Study and characterization of the role of tunneling nanotubes, a novel mechanism for functional connectivity between cells, in the spreading of viruses, misfolded protein aggregates leading to neurodegenerative diseases, or in the exchange of information in cancer cells.

Vadim Keyser,, Philosophy Dept.

  • Research Activities:  Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology, and Philosophy of Science Policy

Krish Krishnan,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D. Indian Institute of Science
  • Research Activities: Biophysical Chemistry, Molecular Biophysics, Biomolecular NMR, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

David Lent,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Arizona
  • Research Activities: Neuroethology and neurobiology; adaptive behaviors and neural plasticity; insect cognition; focus on obtaining novel insights into behavior and neural mechanisms underlying spatial processing, learning and memory, and navigation; investigating how multimodal sensory cues are utilized and integrated; comparative studies of spatial behaviors and corresponding brain structures.

Prudence Lowe,, Computer Science Dept.

  • PharmD, University of California, San Francisco
  • Research Activities: Computer programming, bioinformatics

Santanu Maitra,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Nevada, Reno
  • Research Activities: Organic chemistry, bio-organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, green chemistry, infectious diseases, neuro and cardiovascular diseases.

 Hubert Muchalski,, Chemistry Dept.

  • Ph.D.
  • Research Activities: Develop new reactions and strategies for organic synthesis. Of particular interest are free radical-mediated reactions and processes at the intersections of chemistry with biology and material science.

Ulrike Müller,, Biology Dept.

  • PhD. University of Groningen
  • Research Activities: Biomechanics of animal locomotion; fish swimming, animal flight, bio fluid mechanics; ontogenetic development of locomotion, biochemical implications of ontogenetic development and niche shifts in aquatic organisms; science communication.

 Steven Pao,, Food Science and Nutrition Dept.

  • PhD. Ohio State University
  • Research Activities: Food protection and farm hygiene, food safety and quality management.

 Mamta Rawat,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. Louisiana State University
  • Research Activities: Medical Microbiology; Molecular pathogenesis and pathogenomics; Drug resistance; Biochemistry and the role of thiols in microorganisms; Stress response of microorganisms; Bioremediation capacity of actinomycetes

Larry G. Riley, Jr.,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Hawaii
  • Research Activities: Vertebrate physiology and endocrinology: Investigating linkages between environmental challenges and the endocrine control of growth, appetite, and metabolism

Joseph Ross,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Washington
  • Research Activities: Evolutionary genetics and development in Caenorhabditis nematodes, particularly with regard to reproductive isolation and species formation, using molecular, biochemical, genetic and genomic/bioinformatic approaches

Anil Shrestha,, Plant Science Dept.

  • Ph.D. Michigan State University
  • Research Activities: Integrated vegetation management in agricultural and non-agricultural systems, weed biology and ecology; crop-weed competition; herbicide-resistance management; environmental aspects of vegetation management; cropping systems; agro-ecology; conservation tillage; IPM; and organic farming.

 Timothy Stearns,, Management Dept.

  • D.B.A. Indiana University
  • Research Activities: Nascent entrepreneurs, technology entrepreneurs

Brian Tsukimura,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Hawaii
  • Research Activities: Comparative Physiology, Invertebrate Physiology, Crustacean Biology, Reproductive Endocrinology, Chemical Mediators Regulating Yolk Protein formation, Endocrine disrupters and amphibians, Invasive species

Tricia Van Laar,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Texas at San Antonio. 
  • Research Activities:  Antimicrobial resistance/tolerance, persister cells, biofilms, bacterial genetics.

Katherine Waselkov,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. Washington University in Saint Louis. 
  • Research Activities:  Molecular plant systematics/ phylogenetics, plant taxonomy, and population genetics; researching the effects of polyploidy on diversity in the genus Phlox and the family Polemoniaceae; and studying the agricultural adaptations of annual weed plants such as Amaranthus and Conyza in the Central Valley.

Alice Wright,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. University of Michigan
  • Research Activities: Bioremediation, microbial physiology, metagenomics, comparative genomics, molecular studies of the metabolism of xenobiotics and agrichemicals in microorganisms, molecular assessment of microbial ecology and diversity.

Hwan Youn,, Biology Dept.

  • Ph.D. Seoul National University
  • Research Activities: Molecular biology, bacteriology; bacterial genetic responses to environmental cues, especially gases; genetic, biochemical and genomic approaches to the roles of bacterial proteins as transcription factors.